This calendar year, I will turn 40. I’m still 39, and will be for another ten months. So don’t get me wrong–I’m not rushing this! But 40 has started to loom a little.
I never thought I’d care very much, quite honestly. When I was 35, I liked the idea of turning 40. I’d heard that a woman’s 40’s are fantastic–freeing and fun. But then, I snuck up on 40, and I’m starting to have a few misgivings… Mostly, because between the ages of 35 and 39 a whole lot of aging happens. A LOT. At 35, I looked like a woman in her mid-thirties–maybe even a touch younger! But at 39, I’m starting to look the part of a 40-year-old woman. It was bound to happen, but I didn’t think it would happen so fast. Or to me.
There are a few things I’m looking forward to, though:
- When I gain weight, people’s first thought won’t be that they’re the first to notice an unannounced pregnancy. (Sigh!) Instead, they’ll recognize my age, be relatively confident that I’m not waiting the traditional 3 months to announce anything, and think, That woman has found something delicious. I probably want some of it. That’s right–I’m a little bit fat. I really like food. And I’m okay with it!
- Enjoying the fruits of my labors. I worked HARD during my thirties, and I have no intention of slowing down, but after a decade of writing my heart out and climbing in my writing career, I’m finally at a place where I can start enjoying some of that success a little bit. And I like it! So if I can do more of that enjoying, I think my 40’s will be great.
- Looking good for my age. Seriously! I know most women take that as an insult, but I honestly don’t want to compete with 22-year-olds! First of all, I’m a married mother, and I have zero desire to attract younger men. Mr. Johns is all I want. Secondly, I used to be 22, and I remember how tight my skin was, how firm and pert everything was, how cute I was when I rolled out of bed. That’s youth! But more than that, I remember how vulnerable I was, even when I thought I knew it all. I remember how prone I was to choose the wrong kind of guy. I remember how I looked up to “older women” for some kind of guidance and support. I have no desire to compete with those 22-year-olds. I want to protect them, support them, stand up for them. It’s their turn to be young.
So those are the things I’m looking forward to. I think my 40’s will be fantastic, once I get over the hump of seeing myself as a woman in my 40’s. Give me time. I have ten months to get there.